Should Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum be called The Wilson?
CHELTENHAM Art Gallery and Museum could soon have a new name – The Wilson.
Bosses hope a re-branding exercise will imprint the building and its exhibitions in the mind of residents and visitors.
As part of the £5.9 million redevelopment of the buildings in Clarence Street, Cheltenham Borough Council has employed creative consultancy Arthur Steen Horne Adamson.
The firm, based in the Eagle Tower, was asked to come up with a new name and branding identity, to work on posters, leaflets and all promotional material.
The agency's favoured name of three options it has put forward is The Wilson, a reference to Cheltenham's renowned polar explorer Edward Wilson.
The other two options put forward to the borough council's cabinet for the new name for the museum and gallery were C-MAG, taken from the initials of Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery, and Fifty One, the number of the building in Clarence Street.
The council's museum, arts and tourism manager, Jane Lillystone said: "ASHA's words when they looked around the new building, and the gallery space, which is four times what we had were 'world class.'
"We think 'The Wilson' positions the gallery and museum as a national and international attraction, yet keeps it grounded in Cheltenham. Edward Wilson is a world famous figure but he was born in Cheltenham and grew up here."
Edward Wilson's father, also a doctor called Edward, opened the first collection of the art gallery and museum in 1907.
ASHA also came up with a new visual identity, of a grid of nine squares or a cube, which echoes the Clarence Street façade.
Borough Council cabinet member Rowena Hay said of the exercise, which cost £9,500: "I want the cabinet to decide because of the importance of the Art Gallery & Museum to the town.
"It really will be put on the map and it's part of making Cheltenham a cultural destination for visitors and residents.
"I strongly prefer The Wilson as a name both for the Cheltenham heritage and the themes of exploration and art."
A decision on the new name and brand will be taken by the council's cabinet on 17 September. The different branding options are available to view on Cheltenham.gov.uk/cheltenhamart.
And the council wants to hear the opinions of the public, either via the site, or using the #cheltenhamart on its Twitter and Facebook pages.